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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 7/27: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Cena vs. Rollins for U.S. Title, SSlam hype, Owens vs. RKO, two Divas matches, more

Jul 27, 2015 - 10:10:50 PM


WWE Raw TV Results
July 27, 2015 - Episode #1,156
Live in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Report by "32" James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor

- The Card: John Cena vs. Seth Rollins for the U.S. Title, Paige vs. NXT Women's champion Sasha Banks, Charlotte & Becky Lynch vs. Divas champion Nikki Bella & Alicia Fox, Dean Ambrose vs. Big Show, Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton, Summerslam build-up, fall-out from The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar's big fight last week, a potential new Wyatt Family member, and more.

Live Raw on USA Network

Raw opened with a video package documenting The Undertaker's return to Raw TV last Monday, setting up a big brawl with Brock Lesnar previewing their Summerslam match.

Live in the arena, Michael Cole introduced the show before Triple H's music played to bring out the birthday boy, flanked by Stephanie McMahon. They were joined by WWE World Hvt. champion Seth Rollins with the title belt around his waist.

Ringside, Cole, JBL, and Byron Saxton introduced the show. Cole said The Authority is going to address the Lesnar-Taker business from last Monday on Raw. Once in the ring, Hunter did the old NWO routine leaning against the top rope to look into the crowd. Hunter welcomed the crowd to Raw. He said tonight is going to start with a "massive announcement."

Hunter said this year's Summerslam will be bigger than ever, which means three hours isn't long enough. So, for the first time, Summerslam will be a four-hour monumental event. The crowd was kind of excited. But, also sounded nervous about a four-hour show. Stephanie hyped Summerslam featuring Lesnar vs. Taker - 17 months in the making.

But, Hunter said, tonight will be epic because for the very first time, it will be Big Show vs. Dean Ambrose. Steph also listed Paige vs. NXT Women's champion Sasha Banks for tonight's show. Hunter topped her by booking Kevin Owens against ... Randy Orton for the first time. Steph topped Hunter by announcing Nikki Bella & Alicia Fox vs. Charlotte & Becky Lynch.

Rollins had to interrupt because he was too fired up. He said he would like to talk about some firsts. He cashed in Money in the Bank in the main event of WrestleMania for the first time, defeating Brock and Roman Reigns in the same match. He also bragged about walking in WWE champ and Battleground and walking out as WWE champ. So, he thinks they need to involve all of the audience in what happens tonight.

Seth said he needs every person to stand up and admit that he may go down as one of, if not the greatest WWE World Hvt. champions of all-time. The crowd booed of course. Seth heard cheers, then John Cena's music interrupted. Seth went from basking in the glow of cheers in his own head to utter annoyance.

The U.S. champion bounced out on-stage and marched right down to the ring with something to say. Cena looked around the ring, said he does not mean to interrupt Hunter, but he means to interrupt Seth, calling him an "arrogant jackass." Cena called him out for disrespecting past champions, calling Seth a joke. He said they need to find out who's telling the truth between them. But, he's here to talk to Hunter and Stephanie.

Cena said tonight is about "first-time-evers." He said they need to do what's best for business - they need to see if Seth can become a man. "Seth Rollins vs. John Cena - for the WWE World Hvt. Title." Seth looked away selling annoyance. He then shouted at Cena to do everyone a favor by shutting up for the first time ever. Seth said this isn't Cena's litle U.S. Title Open Challenge, but the WWE World Hvt. Title they're talking about.

Stephanie interrupted Seth. She said they need to put it to the people, playing fake heel asking the crowd if they want to see a WWE Title match tonight. Steph smiled as the crowd broke out into loud cheers, then "Yes!" chants. Cena bounced up and down, then Steph co-opted Daniel Bryan by doing "Yes!" chants herself. So, for the first time ever, she says, "Nooooooo." Steph told Cena that he has to earn that title shot.

Hunter said he gets this. He said he can speak for everyone here that no one wants to see the WWE World Title defended here on Raw. But, they will still have Cena vs. Rollins tonight. Instead, it will be Cena's for U.S. Title. Cena said that's what's best for business. Steph and Seth laughed, then joined Hunter leaving the ring as Cena stood by with a frown on his face.

Ringside: Cole looked like someone told him that dinner was canceled as JBL and Saxton talked about what just happened. Cole then broke down the card announced by The Authority.

[ Reax: The Authority remains wishy-washy characters through and through. Meanwhile, TV ratings slumping means WWE going heavy on "first-time-ever" and teasing big matches like Rollins-Cena for the WWE Title. It reflects reflects Vince McMahon's promoter mentality thinking about tonight's live audience, tonight's rating, tonight's show, rather than protecting matches for down the road, which is why WWE eventually burns through matches to the point of wrestlers not feeling special over time. Cena vs. Rollins for the U.S. Title tonight should be good, but if they do that match again for the WWE Title at Summerslam, will it be special? Or, do they have to do another match at Summerslam? ]

[Q2] Up Next: Dean Ambrose vs. Big Show.

Announcement: Paige will join "Stone Cold" Steve Austin in the return of Austin's podcast on WWE Network following Raw. No disrespect to Paige, whose only been in WWE for a few years, but that's a drop-off from McMahon, Hunter, and Heyman.

[Commercial Break at 8:18]

Ringside: The Miz was at the announce position to commentate on the opening match. Dean Ambrose was out first, followed by Big Show. Cole asked Miz how it felt to get smashed by Big Show last week. Miz said he's here, so obviously it did not hurt him.


On commentary, Miz called out Daniel Bryan, saying he had to drop the IC Title when he was injured, so he thinks Ryback should also drop the IC Title due to injury. Meanwhile, Show ripped open Ambrose's tanktop to attack him. Dean fought back, then tried a splash to the outside, but Show punched him to the floor. Raw cut to break with Show standing over Dean.

[Commercial Break at 8:24. A local spot for NXT: Houston during Night of Champions aired during the break. No individual stars were mentioned by name - the video focused on the NXT brand, showed a familiar wrestler like Samoa Joe in action, and highlighted NXT champion Finn Balor coming off the top rope.]

Back from break, Miz bragged about having a stronger immune system than Ryback battling a staph infection. Meanwhile, Ambrose hopped on Show's back looking for a sleeperhold. Show tried to get to the ropes for a break, but Show slumped over. Ambrose eventually released the hold and tried a top-rope move, but Show intercepted with a toss of sorts. Show then called for the chokeslam. Ambrose countered with a DDT, though. But, he could not cover Show.

[Q3] Ambrose regrouped and began punching and slapping Show. He tried the Rebound Lariat, but Show intercepted with a chokeslam. Ambrose kicked out of the pin, though, popping the crowd and shocking Big Show. Show tried another chokeslam and he connected again. This time, Ambrose rolled out of the ring to avoid a pin attempt. The ref began a ten count as Ambrose recovered on the floor. Six, seven, eight, and he re-entered at nine.

Show stalked Ambrose to deliver a standing kick to the face, sending Ambrose out of the ring again. This time Show walked to the outside, tackled Ambrose to the ground, and walked back into the ring. The ref began another count as Ambrose struggled to his feet. Three, fell down, four, five, to his feet, six, seven, eight, got up, nine, and he dove back into the ring. Ambrose told Show to bring it on. But then he stumbled out of the ring.

Show went to the outside and tried to press Ambrose back into the ring. But, Ambrose landed on his feet, then charged Show with a suicide dive, but Show intercepted with a KO Punch. Miz sold being stunned by the sudden change. Show returned to the ring thinking this was definitely over. But, Ambrose stirred again, dove toward the ring at nine, fell short of the ring, and was counted out.

Post-match, Show stalked Ambrose for a big spear into the gimmicked barricade in front of the timekeeper, but then he turned around and walked away. JBL told Ambrose to stay down, but Ambrose got up, almost daring Show. So, Show took the bait and charged Ambrose, but Ambrose moved and Show crashed through the barricade. Show remained face-down on the barricade as Dean slowly got up, stumbled around ringside, and was the last man on his feet despite losing the match.

WINNER: Show via count-out at 11:20. This felt like a holding pattern match since they don't have anything for Ambrose post-MITB and Show was in the IC Title picture before Ryback got injured, but they at least got over both men's characters. Ambrose was spotlighted for never giving up and fighting until he had nothing left, so that was good.

Announcers: Cole and Co. hyped Summerslam going four hours on WWE Network this August.

Tonight: The Prodigal Son returns to the Wyatt Family. It's Luke Harper and he's re-committing to the Wyatt Family.

Up Next: Neville, in comic form, is in action next.

[Commercial Break at 8:38]

Back from break, poor Fandango was in the ring dancing with no dance partner. Neville's music then played to bring out the Man That Gravity Forgot.


As the match started, the announcers talked about Stardust (Cody Rhodes) trying to be the super-villain in Neville's life. After a lock-up, Fandango put Neville in a unique submission putting Neville on his back and bending him backward. But, Neville escaped and knocked Fandango to the floor. Neville landed a big splash to the outside, then rolled Fandango back into the ring. Neville wanted his top-rope Red Arrow, and he connected, wowing the crowd. Fandango covered for the win.

WINNER: Neville at 1:52.

[Q4] Post-match, Stardust appeared on the video screen. Stardust, with his hair growing out, mockingly congratulated Neville on saving the day once again. Stardust spoke at 1/10 on the sound level at times, trying to draw in the audience. He talked about everyone wanting heroes, especially those who wine and dine with kings and queens, but Neville cannot stop him. "Be my hero," he mockingly said to silence. Neville looked around selling that Stardust has lost his mind.

Tonight: Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton. And Paige vs. NXT Women's champion Sasha Banks. And Los Matadores vs. Lucha Dragons. And Seth Rollins vs. John Cena for the U.S. Title.

[Commercial Break at 8:49]

Backstage: Paige was shown standing somewhere in a super-close-up. She then talked up Charlotte and Becky Lynch. Paige talked up the Divas division doing big things. And in came B.A.D. for a predictably catty discussion. Sasha Banks said the Revolution is about her, Naomi, and Tamina. Sasha went for the dig about Charlotte being "daddy's little girl," then Naomi and Paige traded verbal barbs. Becky spoke up that Sasha's bad attitude is exactly what the revolution is not about. Tamina challenged Becky, then Naomi calmed everyone down and took B.A.D. to the ring. The exchange ended with Paige and Charlotte talking about things getting bad right now.

[ Reax: That was a watered-down version of the work done at NXT that propelled the division to prominence. Very broad brushstrokes trying to play to the masses. ]

In-ring: Paige was introduced to the ring with Charlotte and Becky Lynch.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, the announcers noted tonight's sponsors, including a liquor product. In the first hour of Raw.

In-ring: Sasha Banks was introduced to the ring with Naomi and Tamina. Before the match started, WWE ran a video profile on Sasha Banks, focusing on her NXT rise. And, her desire to change the game as The Boss.

[Q5 -- second hour]

3 -- PAIGE (w/Charlotte and Becky Lynch) vs. NXT Women's champion SASHA BANKS (w/Naomi and Tamina)

Big spotlight at the top of the second hour for the first of two Divas matches tonight. They opened with an even exchange, then Sasha wanted to shake hands. Paige saw the heel tactics coming and caught a boot to the gut, then gained the advantage. They cut to a shot of the Bellas and Alicia Fox watching the match backstage. Paige then knocked Sasha to the outside, climbed to the top, and took out all three members of B.A.D. with a splash. Raw cut to break with Paige in control.

[Commercial Break at 8:06. During the break, a spot aired for Ronda Rousey's next UFC fight this Saturday, August 1 at UFC 190.]

Back from break, Sasha was working on Paige in the ring. During the break, a fight broke out ringside, prompting the referee to get some separation and eventually just kick people out. Back live, Sasha maintained control and WWE cut backstage to the Bellas and Fox still watching the match. Meanwhile, Sasha declared that this is her house now, mocking Paige.

Paige made a comeback, landing a strike in the corner, then scored a close nearfall. Sasha came back for a close nearfall of her own, drawing in the crowd. Paige then tried the PTO after catching Sasha in the corner, but Sasha lunged toward the bottom rope just before tapping out. Paige could not capitalize, as Sasha caught her in the Bank Statement. Paige had to tap out. Afterward, Sasha kicked Paige out of the ring to stand tall.

WINNER: Sasha Banks via submission at 13:56. That was a great display of women's wrestling. Actually, just straight-up wrestling between two stars who can go in the ring. Next is finding some individual feuds to link each week's episode to the next one for viewers to invest in. But, the introduction of quality new stars like Sasha, Charlotte, and Becky has definitely reinvigorated the division.

[Q6] Still to come: Seth Rollins vs. John Cena.

Backstage: Renee Young brought in Seth Rollins for more words about facing John Cena tonight. Renee said Seth could "potentially" walk out of Raw with the U.S. Title. Seth took umbrage to that, then asked Renee some questions about his title reign. Seth said everyone wants to criticize his title reign, and he is so sick about John Cena talking about The Future of WWE going through him. Tonight, he shows John that the future has long passed him by.

Backstage: Rusev and Summer Rae, dressed as Lana, were shown walking down the hallway. The announcers teased Rusev having a surprise for Summer.

Announcers: Cole and Co. hyped "Stone Cold" Steve Austin on the cover of the "WWE 2K16" video game. Cole then fed to a video for Arnold Schwarzenegger being included in the video game.

[Commercial Break at 9:19]

In-ring: Rusev was standing by with Summer "Lana" Rae. Rusev said it's a woman's job to obey, but it's the man's job to give gifts. So, he presents a gift inside this box. Out came a skinny, but cute dog. Rusev said he's a terrible dog, neutered, and pees on himself, so they should call him "Dog Ziggler." Rusev had another present. It was a fish. Summer was reluctant to take the fish, which was headless. Rusev told Summer to hold up the headless, dead fish, which they will call Lana.

Suddenly, Lana interrupted from the stage. "ShuTup," she said. Lana said she's tired of Rusev lying about her and trying to humilate her. She said that everyone here can see right through Rusev. Now in the ring, Lana said Rusev dresses Summer like her. And Rusev looks at her (Lana) while kissing Summer. Summer replied that now Rusev knows what it's like to cuddle up with a real woman.

Lana kicked Summer in the leg, then tackled her to the mat. Lana shoved the fish into Summer's face, making Rusev gag at his new squeeze smelling like a fish. Lana slapped Rusev, then left the ring. Rusev chucked the fish out of the ring, then picked up Summer while ranting and raving in his language. "Okay," Cole said before moving on.

[ Reax: Where is this going? Just a holding pattern doing the same shtick every week until Dolph Ziggler returns? It's just a weird deal right now. ]

Still to come: Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton.

[Q7] [Commercial Break at 9:29]

Video Review: The Undertaker returned at Battleground, then on Raw to explain that he grew tired of Brock Lesnar bragging about breaking The Streak at WrestleMania 30. "I say enough." And the brawl was on, drawing out security, Triple H, and the majority of the locker room to try to get some separation.

Next Week: Brock Lesnar advertised in-advance for Raw. Saxton advertised Raw returning to the Bay Area where WM31 was held this year.

In-ring: Lucha Dragons were introduced to the ring for tag action.

[Commercial Break at 9:36]

Announcement: Hell in a Cell comes to the Staples Center in Los Angeles in October. Tickets go on-sale this Saturday.

Ringside: WWE tag champions Prime Time Players were at the commentary position to discuss Los Matadores beating the tag champs last week on Raw following a distraction from New Day.


Lucha Dragons controlled early on with Kalisto landing high-flying offense. Diego came back with a flying attack as the announcers and PTPers discussed commentary and one-liners. Titus slipped in a note about the lucha style being one of the most exciting "in professional wrestling." Oops. The match broke down, then spilled to the outside. Los Matadores called out the Players, then Sin Cara took a chop to the chest.

Back in the ring, Diego worked on Sin Cara as the crowd tried to rally with "Lucha, Lucha" hand motions. It sounded like Cole was produced to bury the segment, saying under his breath, "hashtag awful commentary." Meanwhile, Los Matadores continued to work on Sin Cara.

[Q8] Sin Cara finally broke free and tagged in Kalisto. Cliches flew on commentary as quickly as Kalisto snapped off high-flying offense on Diego. Fernando broke up a pin, though, only to take a handspring kick to the face. Chaos, then New Day's music suddenly interrupted. Out came Kofi Kingston, Big E., and Xavier Woods bouncing down to the ring mocking Titus O'Neil winning father of the year. PTPers got up from commentary to argue with New Day. Suddenly, back in the ring, Kalisto rolled up un Matador for the pin and the win. Post-match, New Day kind of celebrated Lucha Dragons winning as Los Matadores complained in the ring.

WINNERS: Lucha Dragons at 8:05. Just chaos everywhere. A messy, messy segment. Cole sounded like he just wanted to get to break. Apparently the story is New Day trying to create even more challengers for the Prime Time Players, which means less chance for the Players retaining the Tag Titles in, say, a four-team match. But, that also means less chance for New Day to win as well.

Up Next: Luke Harper re-commits to the Wyatt Family after helping Bray Wyatt beat Roman Reigns at Battleground.

[Commercial Break at 9:50]

Back from break, the Wyatt theme played to bring out Bray Wyatt, trailed closely by Luke Harper. Wyatt led the duo to the ring by his lantern as the arena was filled with cell-phone lighting. Once in the ring, Wyatt said he bets every single person here has a family. Do you love them? Do you care about them? Do you hug them? And as long as you stay together, everything will be all right?

Bray said he has to tell the children that their mommies and daddies have been force-feeding them lies. He said they do not love them. Because if their parents loved them, they would tell them the truth. Bray said the truth can be shocking because it's in your schools, governments, and places of worships. Bray said the sooner you can realize that, the sooner you can accept this world.

Bray told a story about a pet he once had. He said his pet was loyal to him, but he wanted to know what was through the woods and over the trainwrecks. He set his pet free, but the pet came running back to him after a time. Except this time his pet had a scar from his eye to his nose. He was changed. His pet never ran away again and never left his side. Bray said his pet learned some lessons that the world has teeth and they are much sharper than his. Bray said his pet learned that you have to get them before they get you.

[Q9 -- third hour] Enter Luke Harper. He was a damaged man. He picked up Luke and fixed him, like fixing a broken toy. Harper spoke. He said Bray picked him up and saved him after the world shunned him. Harper said Bray opened his eyes and made him stronger than ever. And now he knows that when you pray for the rain, you best be prepared for the mud.

Harper said that he owes his life to Bray. Wyatt paced the ring and said it always comes back to family. He said Harper would go through anything for him. And now there's Roman Reigns. Bray said he warned Reigns that this was only the beginning. He said Reigns claims to care for Dean Ambrose, but if he cared about Ambrose, he would tell Dean to turn and walk away because he's in dangerous. Bray said this is Reigns's burden to bear and hill to die on. "Roman Reigns, we're here," Bray said before kneeling down in the ring. Harper stood over Bray, who shouted, "Follow the buzzards."

Raw abruptly cut away to a plug for Owens vs. Orton still to come. Plus, Seth Rollins challenges John Cena for the U.S. Title.

In-ring: Charlotte's music played to bring out Ric Flair's daughter flanked by Paige and Becky Lynch. Cole said the Divas Revolution continues on Raw. Cole plugged a first-time-ever tag match up next.

[Commercial Break at 10:04]

Back from break, the Bellas's music played to bring out Divas champion Nikki Bella and Alicia Fox flanked by Brie Bella. Apparently they're heel tonight.

5 -- CHARLOTTE & BECKY LYNCH (w/Paige) vs. TEAM BELLA (Divas champion NIKKI BELLA & ALICIA FOX w/Brie Bella)

The announcers talked about Nikki Bella wanting to hit the 300-day mark as Divas champion, but she's facing increased competition now. Nikki started against Becky, who then tagged in Charlotte to combine for a double dragon dropkick to the champ. Charlotte landed a trademark Flair Family chop. They cut backstage to show B.A.D. watching the match on a monitor. Back in the ring, Fox used a distraction to knock down Charlotte. The heels then began wearing her down.

[Q10] Becky got a hot tag at 5:30 and chaos broke out. Nikki posted Becky, but she gloated too much, allowing Charlotte to tackle her out of the ring. Becky then put Fox in her Disarm-Her submission. Fox had to tap out, giving Team Charlotte the win.

WINNERS: Charlotte & Becky at 6:03.

Last Week on Tough Enough: Chris Jericho read the results that sent Patrick home in a "shocking elimination." Cole said this was surprising because a lot of people thought Patrick was going to win the whole contest. Cole and Co. broke down the eight remaining contestants.

Announcers: Cole and Co. were shown on-camera. Cole fed to a clip from last week's show when Big Show lit up the male contestants with frying pan-like chops to the chest. Cole hyped B.A.D. appearing on Tough Enough tomorrow night to hand out some business to the female competitors.

Backstage: Kevin Owens and Randy Orton were shown walking down the hallway on a split screen. They're in singles action next.

[Commercial Break at 10:19]

Ringside: Sheamus was on commentary to join Cole, JBL, and Saxton for commentary. Sheamus had the MITB briefcase with him, of course. Randy Orton was then introduced for the next match. Cole hyped new Summerslam Weekend events, including appearances by Shawn Michaels and Sting. Kevin Owens was then introduced as Orton's opponent. "From RKO to KO," Cole said, drawing mockery from Sheamus. Cole ignored him and threw out more plugs for Summerslam Weekend, this time an NXT panel.


The bell sounded and both men came face-to-face in the ring. Owens talked some trash to Orton, who quietly responded. They wanted to do something different than a typical TV start, and it worked, as the crowd was into the match. Owens pushed Orton in the chest, so Orton rebounded off the ropes and kicked Owens in the gut. Orton delivered an uppercut, sending Owens reeling to the outside. Owens checked his jaw, teased returning to the ring, and then decided to wait for Orton to give chase on the floor.

On the outside, Orton and Owens traded control fighting on their feet. Orton whipped Owens into the guardrail, then nailed a knock-down clothesline. Back in the ring, Orton stomped on Owens's ankle, then raked his face. Owens finally made it back to his feet and nailed a clothesline to boos. Owens landed a right hand to the forehead, then tried an uppercut, but Orton pushed him away and nailed a dropkick.

The match moved back to the floor, where Orton landed an uppercut. But, Owens responded with a fallaway slam into the guardrail. Owens was in control and Sheamus was heard laughing at Orton's plight heading to break.

[Q11] [Commercial Break at 10:30]

Back from break, Owens was working on Orton back in the ring. Meanwhile, Sheamus enjoyed watching Owens roughing up Orton tonight. Owens suddenly cut off Orton's comeback with a clothesline, then nailed a flying butt splash for a two count. Owens mocked Orton's trademark pose, then talked some trash. Kick to the gut from Orton into his trademark backbreaker. Both men sold the effects of the match, then came to their feet.

Owens landed a knock down clothesline, then jammed his knee into Orton's chest for a two count. Owens then shouted at Michael Cole to take a good look at him working on Orton. No response from Cole. Owens then set up for the cannonball splash in the corner, but Orton moved and the crowd popped. Orton got that look ready to make a comeback and he exploded on Owens with clotheslines into the powerslam.

The crowd came to life as Orton charged Owens, who walked into an exploder suplex. Owens then rolled to the ring apron, leaving himself open for a trademark DDT, but Owens blocked and yanked Orton throat-first across the top rope.

On the floor, Orton reversed a whip and sent Owens into the barricade. Suddenly, Sheamus could be heard dropping the headsets. Cole said nothing, then Sheamus suddenly exploded on Orton with a Brogue Kick. Cole framed it as Sheamus "ruining a great match," which is just dog-whistling instead of heat-building describing it as Sheamus costing Orton his chance to shut up that cocky, brash, nuisance (heel) Owens.

Post-match, Cesaro charged the ring to get in the mix with Owens. But, Cesaro walked right into a pop-up powerbomb after being distracted by Sheamus. Once the dust settled, Owens yelled down at Cesaro and shouted that he's the man. Owens's music played, Sheamus held up his MITB briefcase ringside, and Orton and Cesaro sold on their backs in the ring.

WINNER: Unofficially Orton via DQ/Match Tossed due to interference at 11:22. Really interesting match. Hard to explain, but it didn't look like Orton and Owens were completely comfortable with each other in the ring. It would be interesting to see three or four matches between them (spaced out so as not to burn out the match) to get a better feel for the match-up.

Backstage: Renee Young brought in U.S. champion John Cena for a rebuttal to Seth Rollins's earlier conversation with Renee. Cena said it's "put up or shut up time" against Rollins. Cena said over the past three months, he's had over a dozen broadcast title defenses, but this is the most important one against the WWE World champion, Rollins. So either Rollins leaves here with both titles or Cena "shocks the world" by defeating the WWE World champion. (Option C?) Cena said they will find out whether the Real Champ is here.

Video Package: The End of The Streak at WM30. Now, a year-and-a-half later, The Undertaker has come calling for his revenge against Brock Lesnar.

[Commercial Break at 10:42]

[Q12] Smackdown Announcement: Divas champion Nikki Bella vs. Becky Lynch this Thursday on Syfy.

In-ring: John Cena's music played for the Law of Diminishing Returns pop. Cena, the defending champion, was introduced first. Cena pointed to his imaginary watch to say it's time, then Seth Rollins got the Champions Pause before his music played. Out came the WWE World champion to face the U.S. champion. Before the opening bell, Lilian Garcia handled formal ring introductions.

7 -- U.S. champion JOHN CENA vs. WWE World Hvt. champion SETH ROLLINS -- United States Title match

Cena "marked his territory" early on by knocking Seth out of the ring, as called by Cole. Might not be the best description to use on a show where a live dog was part of a segment. After Seth regrouped on the outside, Cena grabbed a side headlock back in the ring. Seth broke free and nailed a clothesline to take control. Seth with a chinlock and Cole tried to muster excitement heading to break.

[Commercial Break at 10:53]

Back from break, Seth was still working on Cena. Cena fired back with his comeback routine and wanted the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Seth kicked him in the face. No matter, as Cena responded with a leaping DDT out of the corner for a close two count, sucking in the audience.

[Q13 -- over-run] Seth pushed Cena out of the ring, then nailed a suicide dive right at the top of the hour. Seth flung Cena back into the ring, then jumped to the top rope looking to inflict more damage, and he brushed Cena across the face with his knee for a nearfall.

Reset at 11:00. Cena and Seth traded right hand blows on their feet. A little more for Seth. A knee to the face. And suddenly Cena fell down to the mat selling an injured nose. Cena was dripping blood from his nose as the ref stalled for time. The doctor came around ringside, but Cena lunged toward Seth trying to sell that he was fine to continue. They cut to a slow-mo replay showing Seth's knee connecting with Cena's nose.

The crowd looked on with concern, then Seth grappled Cena for a running Bucklebomb, but Cena kicked out of a pin. Cena looked to be gasping for air, bringing the ringside doctor into the ring to check on Cena. The doctor left the ring and Seth awkwardly tried to continue the match with his opponent in an obvious predicament, which if this were a shoot would mean capitalize on the opening. Seth eventually did with a kick strike, but Cena kicked out of a pin. Cena continued to talk with the ref as blood spilled out from his nose. Cena suddenly sprung to his feet as Raw was on a replay and nailed the AA, nearly scoring a pinfall as Raw was on a split screen. Live TV.

Cena rolled to the corner to get his nose worked on by the ringside doctor as Seth recovered on the other side of the ring. Cena's nose was a complete mess as he climbed to the top rope, where Seth caught him and landed a superplex. Seth immediately picked up Cena and flowed into a modified Michinoku Driver, but Cena kicked out again. Cole and JBL were super fired-up, with JBL calling Cena a tough s.o.b. (with no censor).

Seth wanted to end it with a top-rope corkscrew press, but Cena moved and immediately slapped on the STF. Seth fought the hold, but Cena dragged Seth to the middle of the ring and locked in the hold. Seth tapped out, giving Cena the win as the crowd roared.

Post-match, Cena was checked on by the ringside medics. He then came to his feet and held up the U.S. Title belt while the crowd celebrated. Meanwhile, Seth sold frustration over the loss and pain from the STF at ringside. Cena celebrated one more time in the ring, then collapsed to the mat unable to open his eyes as his nose remained a mess. WWE zoomed in on the champ's face as Raw closed nine minutes past the top of the hour.

WINNER: Cena via submission at 17:03 to retain the U.S. Title. Darn good babyface performance endearing Cena to the audience. They've needed a babyface fighting through some clear and quite obvious adversity since Daniel Bryan's 2014 run, and this was it. Granted, The Authority is a soft heel faction with wishy-washy top characters, so it wasn't so much about Cena fighting against The Authority's stacked deck, but fighting through a messy-looking nose. The issue for these type of situations is trying to make the match continue to look real when there's an obvious injury and the heel has to protect the injured wrestler while still acting like he's a ruthless man taking advantage of the injury. Seth did about as good as you would expect considering the situation. At the end of the day, it sets up a potential Seth-Cena re-match for the WWE Title, which, heck, could be next week on Raw versus Summerslam. But, this looks to be destined for a 1-1 split with the titles staying home after Seth gets desperate again trying to find a way to retain his title by the skin of his teeth, reinforcing the presentation of Seth as an undeserving champion.


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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

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